Family-Owned Enterprise


Governance in a Family-Owned Enterprise

What Makes It Different

What makes governance unique in a Family-Owned Enterprise compared to a Non-Family Business Environment? The answer is easy; it’s the Family Factor. As a family business grows from an ‘owner-centric’ founder stage to stages where the ownership group is more diverse, the business and the family have different needs. It’s unlike before when one person was in charge of everything for the family and the business. Now, multiple family branches have a stake in the decisions. So how do you go from one captain steering the ship to many sailors wanting to have a voice in how the ship sails, survives and is run? This is governance, and unlike other organizing models, governance in family-owned enterprises develops into two models: business governance and family governance.

Business Governance is Corporate Governance

Transitioning from a ‘paper board’ that never really meets to family-only boards and eventually to a diverse board of directors made up of family and non-family members is vital as the business grows, thrives, and more shareholders appear. Corporate Board evolution can be daunting for family leaders, moving from strong solo control to effective board decision-making policies, constructive debate, and providing management with oversight and accountability. “Letting go to grow” is our motto, and we walk with you side-by-side to build your corporate governance model.

Family Governance – Creating Alignment and Harmony 

The secret to a thriving family enterprise is to separate family and business decisions. This can be hard because people often have multiple roles; they may be family members, family employees, shareholders, board members, or married-in to the family. It’s challenging – or even impossible to escape all conflicts between what they want for themselves versus how well things turn out when their family’s futures are at stake! By creating fair procedures, systems, policies, and transparent decision-making, we help your family create a family governance structure that matches the diverse needs of your unique family enterprise and dodge the potential problems that damage family relationships. Good governance makes family-owned enterprises harmonious; like a beautiful melody, it doesn’t just happen. It takes time, practice, and a well-written sheet of music. Let us help you write a stunning music score!

The challenges of forming a family governance structure:

Hear what others are saying

"Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce is more than 250 years old; our people and progress are at the heart of our success. Since 2015 we have worked closely with Positively People as a key partner for our leadership development programming. Using their Everything DiSC and team-building resources, Positively People has engaged with over 1400+ leaders passionately supporting our work to advance our region."
Bryan Derreberry
"Dr. Jean and her entire team are world class consultants who deeply understand the dynamics of the G2, G3 and G4. Through her invaluable experience, our family transitioning from G2 to G3 was able to align and engage with her and each other, through effective and efficient modes of communication and coordination. She brought the whole family together on this journey; creating a shared vision, motivating each other, raising expectations, promoting trust and achieving a structure that will allow for an enterprise and large family to thrive for generations. A game changer. Truly world class."
Mayur Shah
G2 Family Member, Managing Director of Kenafric Group
"Positively People has been an essential part of our evolving, third-generation family business. The expertise and insight that Jean and her team provide are invaluable to our continued growth and success. The comprehensive coaching program has enabled our company and family members to navigate the complexities of a family-owned business. It has allowed us to build a strong foundation for the future. The approach taken has been effective in strengthening relationships within the family while also providing us with the tools and guidance needed to manage the business. We are very grateful for the constant support of the team at Positively People. We would highly recommend their services to any family business looking to grow and evolve!"
John & Jaclyn Savickas
CEO/President & Vice President, Interstate Specialty Products
"Our family gained a lot of valuable information and was extremely impressed with the content and technical advice given by Dr. Jean Meeks-Koch. We recommend anyone running a family business and wanting to pass it on to the next generation effectively attend one of her workshops."
Mickey Raney
P.E.,CEO,Impact Energy Partners, LLC